An individual who has a “secure attachment” is someone who has low anxiety and low avoidance. Securely attached individuals tend to be more satisfied with their relationship as they’re self-confident to be independent in their relationship and to be intimate with their partner. When they’re in a state of distress, they’re comfortable with seeking out support from their partner and others, which in turn allows their partner to move freely by themselves.
Secure adults are coherent and realistic in discussing any concerns and misunderstandings with their partner, and are able to offer support to their partner when they’re distressed. The outcomes of being a securely attached individual are having relatively good personal and social adjustment. An example of good social adjustment would be being able to adjust to various social events. Another outcome would be having a stable and good quality relationship with others around you, which includes family members, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.
Unlike securely attached individuals/couples, anxiously attached individuals are people who have high anxiety and low avoidance. Anxiously attached individuals are quite the opposite to securely attached individuals as they’re clingy to their partner, which means that they’re quite demanding when it comes to closeness, attention, and approval from their partner. Because of these actions, they may have low self-worth. Also, when the individual is distressed, they’re heavily reliant on others for support. As a result, these individuals develop their confidence and self-worth through their partners’ responsiveness and attention they provide.
Unlike the outcome of being securely attached, anxiously attached individuals are quite the opposite when it comes to personal and social adjustment. They relatively have poor personal and social adjustment. Therefore, when they’re faced with loss/rejection, they usually are quite quick to find out the source of loss/rejection. Another outcome is that they usually face interpersonal problems, such as intrusiveness, being demanding, dominating, and are overly disclosing with their partner and others.
People with avoidant attachment styles have low anxiety, but high avoidances. These individuals have very high self-worth, which often means they often express for independence. However, when they’re in need of help when distressed, they tend to avoid seeking out support from their partner and others.
People with avoidant attachment styles don’t really value the importance of close relationships, instead they value self-reliance. One of the outcomes of this attachment style is that individuals are generally good with personal and social adjustment. However, when they’re faced with a problem, they tend to distance themselves from any form of intimacy with their partner.
People with fearful attachment styles have high anxiety and high avoidance. This identifies that for individuals with this attachment style, they have high anxiety, which means they’re hypersensitive to potential hurt and rejection. Along with this, they’re highly avoidant, which means that they use withdrawal as a coping mechanism. Overall, individuals with this attachment style go through highs and lows because they fear being abandoned and alone, but also fear the close and intimate relationship with their partner.
Individuals with fearful attachment are unsure of themselves, non-defensive, and are self-protective. One of the outcomes of this attachment style is that these individuals generally have poor personal and social adjustment. Like avoidant attached individuals, they face interpersonal problems, such as shyness, they’re unassertive, and have difficulty expressing their feelings to their partner. These characteristics normally explain why individuals who have this attachment style avoid closeness from their partner.
Keep in mind that people’s attachment styles can vary between the four and may have characteristics from a few of these attachment styles. That being said, depending on the individual, one’s attachment style can change overtime.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS TO PONDER: